Brookwood Baptist Health Blog

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Two Long Term Employees Retire After 45 Years

Nov 6, 2018

After four and a half decades as employees at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, Frances Gibson and Shirley Wagner are now embarking on the journey of retirement.  

With a celebratory reception, the staff at Brookwood Baptist showed their appreciation to Shirley and Frances at their respective retirement gatherings.

While Shirley and Frances did not work in the same unit, they were familiar with each other because they started on the same day, February 16, 1973.

Shirley Wagner Frances Gibson
Shirley Wagner retires from Brookwood Baptist Medical Center after 45 years of service. 

Frances Gibson at her retirement party after 45 years of service at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center.

When Shirley Wagner, 70, began working at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, she recalled the hospital before all of the current construction. She said there was not a coffee shop or all of the expansion such as the new Women’s Center.

“A lot has changed over time with how the hospital looks, but also with the use of technology,” Shirley said. “I didn’t know how to work at computer at first, but it was something I had to learn how to do.”

Frances, 69, who spent the majority of her career in the SICU department as a nurse, but ended her time at Brookwood in the pre-admission testing department, also agreed about the changes at the hospital over time.

“Technology has changed a lot over time,” she said. “But, the hospital has also grown a lot. I remember when maternity was on the second floor, but now it takes up its own portion of the hospital.”

Frances recalled some differences over the expansion of Brookwood Baptist such as different floor units moving places around the hospital, but even through many changes she never forget why she started in her field.

“I enjoy being by the bedside. I went into nursing because I enjoyed patient contact,” Frances said.

Shirley started her Brookwood journey as a cashier in the cafeteria and later moved to the telemetry department. In the telemetry unit, techs monitor the patients’ heart rates overnight.

“I really love what I do at Brookwood,” she said. “I enjoyed looking after the patients and caring for them.”

Many may wonder what kept Shirley and Frances at Brookwood Baptist for 45 years. Frances said, “I just don’t pop around places, I just try to improve things where I am,” she said. “Once I get used to a place, I like to stay.”

Echoing that said sentiment, Shirley said she credits it to the family atmosphere of Brookwood Baptist and said when she starts at a place she remains very dedicated.

“Ever since I have been here, people have treated me nice and that makes me grateful. I am proud to be a part of the Brookwood family,” Shirley said.

The telemetry department surely feels the void of Shirley’s vibrant personality and spirit since she has left considering she had such a kind-hearted nature. “I like to make a person’s day. That makes me feel good in return,” she said.

Shirley said she plans to get back into water aerobics at the local YMCA, enjoy her grandchildren and is open to remaining as a constant observance employee from time to time with Brookwood Baptist.

As for Frances, she and her husband Charles have a lot to look forward to during her retirement. She said she plans to take an Alaskan cruise in May of 2019. She also will help care for her mother, who is 97, and at a local nursing facility, that is less than 2 miles from their home.

She will also keep up with her two children and while they have not made her a biological grandmother yet, she does claim her son and daughters’ cats as her “grandcats.” 

Many may wonder was 45 years the longest tenure for employees, but there are still four more 45-year term employees still actively employed with Brookwood Baptist.

Enjoy your retirement ladies, we are grateful for your service!